The First Doctor (1963-1966)
One (1963-64) Season One (1963-64): Into The Vortex
First appearances of the Doctor, Susan, Ian, Barbara, the TARDIS, the Daleks and the Thals.
Season Two 
(1964-65) Season Two (1964-65): Flight Through Eternity
First appearances of Vicki, Steven and the Meddling Monk. The Monk is the first member of the Doctor's own people to be introduced, apart from Susan and the Doctor himself.
Three (1965-66) Season Three (1965-66): Turbulence
First appearances of Katarina, Sara, Dodo, Polly and Ben.
Four (1966) Season Four (1966): Wearing A Bit Thin
First appearance of the Cybermen. The Doctor regenerates for the first time.

Season One (1963-64): Into The Vortex

The Doctor
The First Doctor

William Hartnell played the Doctor from 100,000 BC in November 1963 to The Tenth Planet in October 1966. He also reprised the role in The Three Doctors in December 1972. Hartnell passed away in 1975.

Richard Hurndall replaced Hartnell as the First Doctor for The Five Doctors in November 1983; Hurndall himself died in 1984.

David Bradley became the third actor to play the First Doctor, in Twice Upon A Time in December 2017.

Companions and Recurring Characters

Susan (who often used the last name Foreman) was the Doctor's first travelling companion; she was also his granddaughter.

Carole Ann Ford played Susan from 100,000 BC in November 1963 to The Dalek Invasion of Earth in December 1964. She returned for The Five Doctors in November 1983 and for Dimensions In Time in November 1993.


Ian Chesterton was a high school science teacher who was kidnapped from 1963 England by the Doctor along with his colleague, Barbara Wright.

William Russell played Ian from 100,000 BC in November 1963 to The Chase in June 1965.

Ian Chesterton

Barbara Wright was a high school history teacher from 1963 England who, alongside Ian Chesterton, found herself being abducted into time and space by the Doctor.

Jacqueline Hill played Barbara from 100,000 BC in November 1963 to The Chase in June 1965. Hill passed away in 1993.


The Production Team

Doctor Who's first producer was Verity Lambert, a novice in the position who was brought to the BBC by series creator Sydney Newman. BBC veteran Mervyn Pinfield was installed as associate producer to guide Lambert. David Whitaker, another reliable BBC hand, was Doctor Who's first script editor, and would go on to become one of the biggest promoters of Doctor Who in the Sixties. Whitaker was involved in scriptwriting for the series, authoring comics, compiling books, and even crafting the very first novelisation (of The Daleks).

The Stories
100,000 BC by Anthony Coburn and CE Webber, directed by Waris Hussein
Schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright decide to follow a strange pupil, Susan Foreman, home one night. “Home” turns out to be a time machine -- the TARDIS -- whose outer appearance of a battered blue police box leads to a dizzyingly immense futuristic interior. The TARDIS is owned by Susan's grandfather, the Doctor, and the two are really alien wanderers in time and space. To prevent Ian and Barbara from revealing what they've discovered, the Doctor makes his temperamental machine leave 1963 England, only to land in the era of the caveman. Captured by natives, the four must escape back to the TARDIS before they are sacrificed by a tribe which is trying to regain the secret of making fire. (Frequently referred to as An Unearthly Child.)
Ian and Barbara join the Doctor and Susan in their travels.
The Daleks by Terry Nation, directed by Christopher Barry and Richard Martin
As the Doctor tries in vain to return Ian and Barbara to their own time, the companions find themselves on the planet Skaro. Skaro is home to two races, both mutated in a long-ago war. The Thals are now beautiful and peace-loving, while the Daleks are evil monsters housed inside robotic travelling machines. The Thals have come to the Dalek city to make amends with their long-ago enemies, but the Daleks secretly plot to exterminate the entire Thal race. (The serial's actual title is The Mutants, generally unused to avoid confusion with the later story of the same name. Also occasionally referred to as The Dead Planet.)
Inside The 
Inside The Spaceship by David Whitaker, directed by Richard Martin and Frank Cox
Something is very wrong with the TARDIS. The doors open to reveal a white void, clock faces melt, and each of its occupants behave in an increasingly erratic, paranoid, and even violent manner. Has some strange force invaded the TARDIS, or is one of the time travellers actually sabotaging the Ship? As the seconds slip away and hysteria mounts, the truth may doom them all. (Frequently referred to as The Edge Of Destruction. Also occasionally referred to as Beyond The Sun.)
Marco Polo by John Lucarotti, directed by Waris Hussein and John Crockett
The TARDIS lands in 1289 China. There it is seized by famed explorer Marco Polo, who intends to present it as a gift to Kublai Khan, in the hope that it will win him his freedom. The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara must accompany Polo as he travels across the desert to the court in Peking, and at the same time unearth the malevolent plotting of Tegana, an agent of a rival warlord whose mission is to assassinate the Khan. (All seven episodes are missing.)
The Keys Of 
The Keys Of Marinus by Terry Nation, directed by John Gorrie
On the planet Marinus, the scientist Arbitan locks the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara out of the TARDIS in a desperate bid to convince them to embark on a quest to find a lost set of keys. These keys power the Conscience of Marinus, a mighty computer which is Marinus' last hope against the onslaught of Yartek and his evil Voords. But many dangers lie between the companions and each key: hypnotic monsters, killer plants, ice zombies, and finally a charge of murder.
The Aztecs by John Lucarotti, directed by John Crockett
In 1430 South America, Barbara is mistaken by the Aztecs as the reincarnation of the High Priest Yetaxa. Now regarded as a living deity, Barbara must decide whether or not to change history and end the Aztec practise of human sacrifice. But the high priest Tlotoxl schemes to disprove Barbara's divinity, threatening both Ian, who is to fight an Aztec warrior, and Susan, who has been chosen to wed a sacrificial victim. And how will the Doctor react to Barbara's decision?
The Sensorites by Peter R Newman, directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Frank Cox
The TARDIS lands on an Earth spaceship orbiting the Sense-Sphere in the thirtieth century. Having made contact with the Sense-Sphere's reclusive inhabitants, the telepathic Sensorites, the Doctor must discover the source of a poison which has debilitated both Ian and most of the Sensorite race. At the same time, he has to escape the machinations of an opportunistic Sensorite who sees the chaos as the chance to seize power for himself.
The Reign Of 
The Reign Of Terror by Dennis Spooner, directed by Henric Hirsch and John Gorrie
Susan and Barbara are captured during the dying days of France's infamous Reign of Terror in the eighteenth century, and are sent to the Bastille to await the guillotine. Meanwhile, Ian attempts to find British spy James Stirling, bearing the vital message of a dying man. Elsewhere, the Doctor poses as a member of the new ruling elite and gets caught up in the intrigue of the French Revolution. (Episodes four and five are missing.)

Making History

Doctor Who was the result of a long-felt need for a family show to bridge the gap in Saturday evenings between afternoon sports coverage and teenage music programming. The brainchild of new BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, few gave the science-fiction series a chance to succeed. But with the enormous popularity of the Daleks in the wake of their central role in Doctor Who's second adventure, ratings skyrocketed, securing the programme's place on the schedule. In a space of mere weeks, Doctor Who became a household name.

Season Two (1964-65): Flight Through Eternity

Companions and Recurring Characters

Vicki was an orphan from the twenty-fifth century who was rescued from the planet Dido by the Doctor.

Maureen O'Brien played Vicki from The Rescue in January 1965 to The Myth Makers in November 1965.


Steven Taylor was a space pilot from the future whom the Doctor met on the planet Mechanus.

Peter Purves played Steven from The Chase in June 1965 to The Savages in June 1966.

Steven Taylor

The Production Team

With Verity Lambert now firmly installed as producer, Mervyn Pinfield left Doctor Who midway through Season Two; he would be the programme's only associate producer during its original run (although Barry Letts would occupy a similar role, as executive producer, during Season Eighteen). David Whitaker, too, departed early in the season, to be succeeded by Dennis Spooner. Spooner worked diligently to expand Doctor Who's horizons by introducing new elements such as comedy into the series. Toward the season's end, Spooner also left the show and Donald Tosh became script editor.

The Stories
Of Giants
Planet Of Giants by Louis Marks, directed by Mervyn Pinfield and Douglas Camfield
When the doors of the TARDIS accidentally open in mid-flight, the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara emerge to find themselves reduced to just inches in height. Barbara is poisoned by a new form of insecticide, while the others try to stop the murderous plans of an unscrupulous businessman to market the insecticide despite its devastating effects on the environment.
The Dalek 
Invasion Of Earth
The Dalek Invasion Of Earth by Terry Nation, directed by Richard Martin
The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara find themselves on Earth in the mid-22nd century... and the Daleks have invaded. Now the streets of London are stalked by the Daleks' mind-controlled human puppets, the Robomen, while more terrible monsters roam the countryside. Allying themselves with a small band of freedom fighters, the companions try to reclaim the planet for humankind, and discover the true purpose of the Daleks' mining operations in Bedfordshire.
Susan stays behind with rebel David Campbell
The Rescue by David Whitaker, directed by Christopher Barry
On the planet Dido in the year 2493, the Doctor, Ian and Barbara discover the indigenous civilisation has been eradicated. Furthermore, the entire crew of a crashed Earth spaceship has been murdered, with the exception of the crippled Bennett and the orphan Vicki, who are being terrorised by the monstrous Koquillion. But who is Koquillion, and what are his true motives?
Alone in the world, Vicki joins the TARDIS crew.
The Romans by Dennis Spooner, directed by Christopher Barry
Whilst vacationing in AD 64 Rome, Ian and Barbara are kidnapped and sold as slaves. Ian ends up on a doomed galley ship, while Barbara becomes a handmaiden in Nero's palace pursued by the lusty Caesar himself. Meanwhile, unaware of their friends' plight, the Doctor and Vicki become caught up in the events culminating in the Great Fire of Rome.
The Web 
The Web Planet by Bill Strutton, directed by Richard Martin
The TARDIS is drawn to Vortis, where Barbara is lured out onto the planet's surface by an evil force called the Animus. The Animus has ravaged the surface of Vortis and taken control of its lower animal life, such as the giant ants called the Zarbi. The time travellers ally themselves with the exiled, butterfly-like Menoptra and the pitiable subterranean Optera, who seek to defeat the Animus and retake their planet.
The Crusade by David Whitaker, directed by Douglas Camfield
In 12th-century Palestine, Barbara is kidnapped by the evil Emir El Akir while Ian is knighted for helping save the life of King Richard. The Doctor and Vicki are entangled in Richard's attempts to force his sister Joanna to marry Saphadin, brother of the Saracen leader Saladin, in order to bring an end to the Crusade. Ian, meanwhile, sets out in search of their lost companion. (Episodes two and four are missing.)
The Space 
The Space Museum by Glyn Jones, directed by Mervyn Pinfield
When the TARDIS jumps a time track while landing on Xeros, the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki are thrust, phantomlike, into their own near future. They discover that they are destined to become exhibits in an unscrupulous museum run by the warlike Moroks who rule the planet. Teaming with the native Xerons, the companions try to overthrow the dictators and avert their horrible destiny.
The Chase by Terry Nation, directed by Richard Martin
The Daleks manage to construct their own time machine and begin pursuing the TARDIS across time and space with the singular intent of capturing and killing the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki. The chase brings the time travellers to a dying desert planet, the Empire State Building, the Mary Celeste, a haunted house, and finally Mechanus, a planet dominated by robotic Mechonoids from which they may never escape.
Barbara and Ian return to their own time in the Dalek time machine while space pilot Steven Taylor joins the Doctor and Vicki.
The Time 
The Time Meddler by Dennis Spooner, directed by Douglas Camfield
The TARDIS brings the Doctor, Vicki and Steven to 1066 England, just prior to the Battle of Hastings. There they discover that the Meddling Monk, a time-travelling member of the Doctor's own race, has been interfering with history. The Monk is attempting to use advanced technology to change the outcome of the Battle, wielding modern weaponry to defeat William the Conqueror, and hence irrevocably alter Earth's future.

Making History

Despite losing much of its original cast and production crew -- by the season's end, only William Hartnell and Verity Lambert were left of the original team -- Doctor Who weathered the changes well. The return of the Daleks, in response to furious demands from fans across Britain, simply served to fuel the fire ignited by the metallic monsters' original appearance. Dalek merchandise was soon all but unavoidable. By the season's end, the Daleks had joined the Doctor in their own comic strip, and a feature film retelling The Daleks was screening in theatres, starring Peter Cushing and Roy Castle as Doctor Who and Ian, respectively.

Season Three (1965-66): Turbulence

Companions and Recurring Characters

Katarina was a Trojan handmaiden who met the Doctor during the events surrounding the Greek siege of Troy.

Adrienne Hill played Katarina from The Myth Makers in November 1965 to The Daleks' Master Plan in December 1965. Hill passed away in 1997.


Sara Kingdom was a Space Special Security agent in the 41st century, who allied herself with the Doctor after discovering that she had been manipulated by the treacherous Mavic Chen.

Jean Marsh played Sara in The Daleks' Master Plan from December 1965 to January 1966.

Sara Kingdom

Dorothea (Dodo) Chaplet was a mid-Sixties British schoolgirl who accidentally wandered into the TARDIS.

Jackie Lane played Dodo from The Massacre Of St Bartholomew's Eve in February 1966 to The War Machines in July 1966.

Dodo Chaplet

Polly was a young secretary in 1966 London who first encountered the Doctor when she became a pawn of the evil computer WOTAN.

Anneke Wills played Polly from The War Machines in June 1966 to The Faceless Ones in May 1967.


Ben Jackson was a merchant seaman who befriended the Doctor during the computer WOTAN's attack on 1966 London.

Michael Craze played Ben from The War Machines in June 1966 to The Faceless Ones in May 1967. Craze passed away in 1998.

Ben Jackson

The Production Team

Early in Season Three, Verity Lambert stepped down as producer and was succeeded by John Wiles. With Donald Tosh, Wiles attempted to remould Doctor Who into a more serious, less childish science-fiction programme but succeeded only in butting heads with William Hartnell. With BBC management on Hartnell's side, Wiles quickly tendered his resignation and Tosh did likewise as a show of support. Their replacements were Innes Lloyd as producer and Gerry Davis as script editor, who instead sought to emphasise the science aspect of Doctor Who's brand of science-fiction. To this end, Lloyd and David brought Dr Kit Pedler on board as the show's unofficial scientific advisor.

The Stories
Galaxy 4
Galaxy 4 by William Emms, directed by Derek Martinus
The TARDIS lands on a planet which will explode in mere hours. The Doctor, Vicki and Steven discover that two alien species -- the beautiful Drahvins and the hideous Rills -- have crashlanded on the planet after a battle in space. The Doctor races against the clock to determine which of the aliens are their foes and which their friends, before the destruction of the planet annihilates them all. (Episodes one, two and four are missing.)
Mission To 
The Unknown
Mission To The Unknown by Terry Nation, directed by Derek Martinus
Space Security Service agent Marc Cory arrives covertly on Kembel. Cory and his team are on a mission to uncover the plans of the Daleks and their intergalactic allies, who are secretly meeting on the planet. But Kembel is a world of many dangers, and as his companions slowly transmute into deadly Varga plants, Cory soon realises that for him, there is no escape. (Frequently referred to as Dalek Cutaway or Dalek Cut-Away. This episode is missing.)
The Myth 
The Myth Makers by Donald Cotton, directed by Michael Leeston-Smith
The TARDIS takes its occupants to ancient Greece, during the siege of Troy. The Doctor is mistaken for the god Zeus, while Vicki is captured and taken inside the walls of the besieged city. The Doctor must match wits with the suspicious Odysseus, while Vicki tries to escape the fate that history has decreed for the Trojans. (All four episodes are missing.)
Vicki remains with Trojan warrior Troilus; handmaiden Katarina helps a wounded Steven into the TARDIS.
The Daleks' 
Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan by Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner, directed by Douglas Camfield
On Kembel, the Doctor finds a message left by Marc Cory, detailing the Daleks' plan to use a time destructor to take over the universe. The Doctor steals the taranium core needed to fuel the destructor, and is then pursued across time and space by the Daleks. The Doctor's ally, Space Security Service agent Bret Vyon, is killed by his own sister, Sara Kingdom, at the orders of Mavic Chen, the traitorous Guardian of the Solar System. It is up to the Doctor to convince Sara of the truth of her misguided allegiance, and avoid an apocalyptic triple threat in the form of Chen, the Daleks, and the time destructor. (Also frequently referred to as The Daleks' Masterplan. Episodes one, three, four, six through nine, eleven and twelve are missing.)
Katarina sacrifices herself to save the Doctor and Steven; Sara becomes a TARDIS traveller but is slain by the time destructor.
The Massacre 
Of St Bartholomew's Eve
The Massacre Of St Bartholomew's Eve by John Lucarotti and Donald Tosh, directed by Paddy Russell
The Doctor and Steven find themselves in 1572 France, just prior to the mass slaughter of the Protestant Huguenots by Catherine de Medici. While the Doctor goes to visit apothecary Charles Preslin, Steven becomes embroiled in the lives of several prominent Huguenots, and must come to terms with the Doctor's unwillingness to alter history to stop the imminent massacre. (Also frequently referred to as The Massacre. All four episodes are missing.)
In 1966, schoolgirl Dodo Chaplet accidentally stumbles into the TARDIS.
The Ark
The Ark by Paul Erickson and Lesley Scott, directed by Michael Imison
The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Steven and Dodo to a space ark in the far future, which is carrying humanity from the doomed Earth to their new home, the planet Refusis. Dodo has a cold, however, for which the humans and the subservient alien Monoids have no immunity. The Doctor must find a cure for the common cold, and, centuries later, stop a revolution by the Monoids brought about by the ramifications of the plague.
The Celestial 
The Celestial Toymaker by Brian Hayles, Gerry Davis and Donald Tosh, directed by Bill Sellars
The TARDIS is taken to the surreal Celestial Toyroom by the nefarious Toymaker, an old foe of the Doctor's. Steven and Dodo are forced to play a series of games against increasingly deceitful opponents in order to regain possession of the TARDIS, while the Doctor must solve the complex Trilogic Game in a battle of wits against the Toymaker. If any of them fail, they will be destined to remain in the Toyroom forever, transformed into dolls under the Toymaker's control. (Episodes one through three of this story are missing.)
The Gunfighters by Donald Cotton, directed by Rex Tucker
The Doctor has a toothache, so when the TARDIS materialises in 1881 Tombstone, Arizona, his first priority is to find a dentist. But the dentist turns out to be the infamous Doc Holliday, on the run from the Clanton brothers and their hired gunman, Johnny Ringo. The Doctor, Steven and Dodo must ally themselves with Holliday and sheriff Wyatt Earp against the Clantons, or else they, too, will be singing The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon.
The Savages by Ian Stuart Black, directed by Christopher Barry
The TARDIS lands on an apparently idyllic planet inhabited by the advanced Elders and the barbaric Savages. Dodo and Steven discover that something is wrong in this paradise: the Elders are fuelling their wondrous culture by draining the life energy from the Savages. Worse still, the Elder leader, Jano, is eager to gain the life energy of one person in particular: the Doctor. (All four episodes are missing.)
Steven leaves his companions to mediate between the Elders and the Savages.
The War 
The War Machines by Ian Stuart Black and Pat Dunlop, directed by Michael Ferguson
Arriving in 1966 London, the Doctor and Dodo are excited to see that construction of the Post Office Tower has been completed. Visiting the building, they are introduced to WOTAN, an incredible new computer designed to link up with other computers worldwide. But little does anyone suspect, WOTAN has become sentient and is using its abilities to take hypnotic control of its creators. Its mission is not to serve mankind, but rather to eradicate it, so that artificial life can become the new dominant lifeform on Earth.
Dodo leaves to convalesce; seaman Ben Jackson and his friend Polly board the TARDIS while attempting to return the Doctor's spare key.

Making History

The third season of Doctor Who was a time of great change and disruption. In addition to the problems experienced by John Wiles, it was becoming increasingly clear that William Hartnell would not be able to play the role of the Doctor for five years as originally anticipated. Hartnell was suffering from arteriosclerosis, and one of the consequences of this condition was that his memory was gradually failing, frequently resulting in the actor being unable to remember his lines. Hartnell was also becoming physically fatigued, and as a result a number of episodes were tailored such that he could appear as rarely as possible.

Doctor Who itself was also undergoing something of an identity crisis. With Dalekmania finally starting to fade, it was clear that the show could not rely on the Daleks as its only draw. Wiles and Tosh's attempt to make Doctor Who into serious drama was a failure, and so Lloyd and Davis decided to refocus the series to appeal to a "hipper" audience. As a result, many elements seen as old-guard -- particularly the traditional companions like Steven and Dodo -- were eliminated, to be replaced by the likes of Ben and Polly, two characters truly born out of the Swinging Sixties. Similarly, it was decided to make modern-day Earth a more regular feature of the prorgamme, showcasing alien activity in our time rather than confining them exclusively to the far future or other planets.

Season Four (1966): Wearing A Bit Thin

The Stories
The Smugglers by Brian Hayles, directed by Julia Smith
The Doctor, Polly and Ben find themselves on the Cornish coast in the 17th century. The Doctor is the lone witness to the dying words of a former pirate, who wishes to pass on the location of a buried treasure. Soon, however, the time travellers are pursued by the vicious Captain Pike, who is also in search of the treasure, and become embroiled in the covert smuggling operations of the era. (All four episodes are missing.)
The Tenth 
The Tenth Planet by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, directed by Derek Martinus
The TARDIS lands near an international tracking station in Antarctica. The year is 1986, and the Doctor, Polly and Ben are just in time to witness the arrival in the solar system of Mondas, a planet which is the mirror image of Earth. Soon, Mondas' natives, the Cybermen -- humans who have replaced much of their living tissue with cybernetic attachments -- invade the tracking station, as Mondas begins to drain the Earth of its energy. The time travellers must stop the process before the Cybermen begin to convert all humanity into creatures like themselves... but something is very wrong with the Doctor. (Episode four is missing.)
The increasingly frail Doctor stumbles into the TARDIS and regenerates into his second incarnation.

Making History

With Hartnell's health getting worse and worse, Innes Lloyd finally made the decision which would change the face of Doctor Who forever. He introduced the concept of regeneration into the series -- that the Doctor could change his physical form when his current body had worn out. The result was a "new" Doctor, with a completely different appearance and somewhat altered mannerisms, thereby allowing a new actor to take over the role. With this mechanism in place, it was hoped that Doctor Who could survive the departure of its star.